Diana is a Palestinian activist and former journalist- film producer from Ramallah- Palestine. She graduated in Journalism and sociology from Birzeit University and worked in several media outlets, co-produced the reality film series (Sleepless in Gaza and Jerusalem). She is now a masters student at Durham University in Politics and International Relations “Political Theory” with a focus on the Palestinian discourse of resistance through visual arts and political posters. Diana is one of the founders of March 15 movement that demanded an end to political division through PNC (Palestinian National Council) elections within the PLO. She is also active with the Jordan Valley Solidarity groups and the popular resistance groups in the village of Bilin and Nabi Saleh in the Friday protests. Diana and her fellow activists in Palestine use social media outlets such as twitter and YouTube to cover news from weekly protests and the daily violations of human rights taking place in the occupied territories.
Sarah Colborne is Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. She has been involved in the PSC, either as an Executive Member or staff member, since 2000. She was on the Mavi Marmara in 2010, which was sailing to Gaza as part of the First Freedom Flotilla when it was attacked in international waters by the Israeli army. Nine on board were killed, and over 80 were injured.
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Jeremy Corbyn was first elected to parliament in 1983 and has shown himself to be a very determined and hands-on constituency MP. He is very accessible, holding weekly advice sessions for anyone, and maintaining a local office. He is also involved with numerous local organisations and community centres.
In Parliament Jeremy speaks up on all of the above issues which he believes to be so important. He would prefer that the cost of replacing Trident nuclear missiles go toward basic needs such as health and housing, and he has voted against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
In the last five years Jeremy has tabled 709 parliamentary questions, and made 878 parliamentary speeches of one sort or another on a wide range of subjects. He has held many roles including Vice Chair of the All Party Human Rights Group (APPG), Chair of the Chagos APPG as well as the Parliamentary CND Group, and membership of the newly established London Select Committee, and of many other APPGs.
Lindsey German is the convenor of the Stop the War Coalition. She is a lifelong socialist and campaigner, who has written on a number of topics, including women and war. Her latest book is ‘How a Century of War changed the Lives of Women’. She was born in London where she still lives, and she is a lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire.
Professor Kamel Hawwash is a British Palestinian academic based at the University of Birmingham. He is the President Elect of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) and Chair of the Association of Civil Engineering Departments (ACED). Professor Hawwash is Vice Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Chair of the Birmingham Ramallah Twinning Initiative (BRTI) and was founding member and Chair of the Britain Palestine Twinning Network (2006-2010). He initiated the Midlands Palestinian Community Association (MPCA), based in Birmingham and was a member of the committee of the Association of the Palestinian Community in the UK (2009-11). Professor Hawwash speaks regularly about the Palestinian issue and offers commentary in the media.
Mona El Farra
Dr Mona El Farra, Director of Gaza Projects, is a physician by training and a human
rights and women’s rights activist by practice in the occupied Gaza Strip. She was born in Khan Younis, Gaza and has dedicated herself to developing community based programmes that aim to improve health quality and link health services with cultural and recreation services all over the Gaza Strip. Dr. El-Farra is also the Health Chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip and a member of the Union of Health Work Committees. Dr. El-Farra has a son and two daughters.
Jamal Juma’ was born in Jerusalem and attended Birzeit University, where he became politically active. Since the first Intifada, he has focused on grassroots activism. He is a founding member of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees, Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange and Palestinian Environmental NGO Network. Juma’ is since 2002 the coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign. He has been invited to address numerous civil society and UN conferences, where he has spoken on the issue of Palestine and the Apartheid Wall. His articles and interviews are widely disseminated and translated into several languages. http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/jamal-juma
Mr Jamal Naji El khoudary
Mr El Khoudary is a former minister of telecommunication and information technology; Independent member of Palestinian legislative council; Founder and chairman of popular committee against Gaza siege; Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Islamic University of Gaza; Chairman of Board of Trustees of the University College of Applied Sciences and Chairman of Board of Directors of Al kitab Channel.
Hugh has worked for the civil service trade union movement for over 30 years, starting with the Civil Service Union and all the subsequent merged unions.He represents PCS on the National Trade Union Committee (formerly the Council of Civil Service Unions) with special responsibility for negotiations with the Cabinet Office on jobs, pensions and all personnel management issues, including the Compensation Scheme and Facility Time Negotiations. He has line management responsibility for National Bargaining, Pay and Pensions; Legal, Equality, Education and Policy Support, as well as Personnel and Facilities Management and covers International matters. Hugh is also Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and has headed PSC trade union delegations to Palestine.
Patricia McKeown is Regional Secretary of the public service union UNISON. She is lead negotiator and represents both UNISON and the Irish Congress of Trades Unions on a wide range of public policy forums and negotiating bodies. She is also a leading equality and human rights activist and has been directly involved in specific trade union projects on both Palestine and Colombia.
Patricia was Chair of the ICTU Northern Committee (2004-2006) and President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (2007-2009). In 2007 she led an ICTU delegation of senior trade unionists to the Occupied Territories, Gaza and Israel. ICTU was the first trade union congress in Europe to adopt the BDS policy. Patricia is also a member of Trade Union Friends of Palestine. She is actively engaged in the campaign to promote and secure justice for the Palestinian People.
Professor Nur Masalha is a Palestinian academic and writer. He is Professor of Religion and Politics and Director of the Centre for Religion and History and the Holy Land Research Project at St. Mary’s University College, University of Surrey, England. He is currently also Professorial Research Associate, Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London).
Professor Masalha is also the editor of “Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal”, and the author of many books on Palestine-Israel, including “The Palestine Nakba: Decolonising History, Narrating the Subaltern, Reclaiming Memory” (2012); “The Zionist Bible:
Biblical Precedent, Colonialism and the Erasure of Memory” (2013); “Theologies of Liberation in Palestine: Contextual, Indigenous and Post-Colonial Perspectives” (2013); “The Bible and Zionism: Invented Traditions, Archaeology and Post-Colonialism in Palestine-Israel”
(2007),; “A Land Without a People” (1997); “Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of “Transfer” in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948″ (1992, and kindle edition 2012); “Imperial Israel and the
Palestinians: The Politics of Expansion” (2000) and “The Politics of Denial: Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Problem” (2003).
Professor Masalha has also served as an honorary fellow in the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Durham University; Research Associate in the Department of Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies; and has taught at Birzeit University, Palestine.
Professor Masalha is also the historian commentator in the award–winning, documentary film “La Terre Parle Arabe” (the Land Speaks
Arabic) (2007), directed by Maryse Gargour, which tells the story of the background and build-up to the expulsion and flight of the Palestinian Arabs in 1948 from the newly-created State of Israel.
Lubna Masarwa is a Palestinian grassroots activist who has been working in the Palestinian community on their daily struggle for justice. The Nobel Women’s Initiative said of Lubna: ‘In recent years she has done a great deal of international work to raise awareness of the situation in Gaza. She has also been active in attempting to break the siege in Gaza, and was among the passengers who were attacked on Mavi Marmara ship in May of 2010.’
Essam Mustafa (Abu Yusuf) is the founder and Coordinator of the Miles of Smiles Aid Convoys to Gaza (more than 20 to date); and the founder, Vice-Chairman and Managing Trustee of Interpal, a leading British charity which has focused on helping Palestinians in need since 1994.
Abu Yusuf is a graduate in Computer Science from London International collage and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Islamic University, Gaza in 2004 in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the provision of humanitarian aid to the people of Palestine, wherever they might be. Of Palestinian background, Abu Yusuf’s family hail from the occupied West Bank.
A visionary in terms of what we outside Palestine can do to make a difference – no matter how small – to the lives of the Palestinians, he has dedicated the last 35 years of his life to humanitarian work. Abu Yusuf is keen to build bridges between communities and has been (and remains) the driving force behind many humanitarian initiatives with input from people of all faiths and none.
Maha Rezeq is a Palestinian human rights activist, originally from the Gaza Strip, while also having lived as a refugee in Syria and Libya. Upon returning to Gaza, she received her BA in English Literature from Al-Azhar University. After completing her undergraduate degree, Maha was awarded a Said Foundation scholarship to attend the School for Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, focusing on The Political Economy of Violence, Conflict and Development. Professionally, Maha has worked as a Humanitarian Aid Specialist with International Organizations including UNICEF, Save the Children, and Oxfam International, to promote and safeguard the rights of Palestinian refugees.
In addition to development, Maha is also a regular commentator on issues relating to the wellbeing of Palestinians, particularly children and women facing multiple forms of discrimination and violence.
Maha advocates for a one-state solution. Whereby Muslims, Jews, and Christian and non-believers could enjoy equal rights under a secular state on what is known as “historical Palestine”
Khalil Abu Shamallah
General Director of AL-Dameer Association for human rights in Gaza, one of the three main human rights organizations in Gaza strip, Khalil is the Deputy Chairman of the Palestinian non-governmental organizations network; One of the prominent human rights activists in the Palestinian territories.
He was arrested for 30th months as administrative détente during the first intifada . In addition he has clear cut position against the violations whether committed by Israel or Palestinians Hamas or Fateh.
He is married with three kids and studied English literature . He is a board member in several international organizations including Arab commission for human rights in Paris and Global network for Rights and Development, based in Geneva.
Azeem Sayani is a student at Westminster University and, since January, has been student officer on the PSC exec. He attends the weekly sessions organised by PSC in which students from London talk to students in Gaza via Skype. The project has been running for a year, during which time the London students have gained a deeper understanding of the effects of the siege on young people in Gaza. In particular, they have heard how the Palestinian students’ ability to study, with limited electricity and the constant threat of attack, is affected. Azeem who says he’s been inspired by the courage and determination of the Palestinian students, is here to talk about what he’s learned from the the year’s Skype conversations.
Raji Sourani, Director PCHR
Raji Sourani has been dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in theOccupied Palestinian Territory throughout his professional career, despite the personal and professional sacrifices he has been forced to make in the process. He has been an active lawyer since his qualification in 1977, representing a wide variety of victims of human rights abuses.
Despite periods of political imprisonment in Israel; years of harassment and violence from the Israeli military; harassment from the Palestinian Authority; and even death threats from Palestinian fundamentalist parties, Raji has maintained an unwavering commitment to human rights. He has been an advocate for basic human rights standards both at a domestic and international level and has refused to curtail his outspoken criticisms of failures by Israel, the Palestinian Authority, political parties and other states to adhere to human rights standards.
Despite the obstacles faced, Raji continues to promote and protect human rights through the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which he founded in 1995 with a group of fellow lawyers and human rights activists in the Gaza Strip. Raji has spearheaded this award-winning centre since its establishment and continues to ensure that the centre provides legal and other services to victims of human rights abuses in the Gaza Strip, enabling them to seek justice and reparation.
A committed family man, Raji has been blessed with an equally committed and understanding family, providing love and encouragement through even the worst times. Raji’s wife in particular has proved the strongest source of support, despite the often great sacrifices that his work has brought to their life.
Throughout the recent challenges presented during the years of the second Intifada and during the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead), Raji has remained stalwart in his determination that the centre will continue to provide services to the maximum number of victims. He has managed to achieve this aim and the centre continues to respond effectively to the challenges faced in the Gaza Strip and throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Dr Phyllis Starkey was Labour Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South West 1997-2010, a Parliamentary Aide to Middle East and Europe Ministers 2001-5 and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Palestine Group 1997-2001. Her sustained lobbying in Parliament contributed to the introduction in 2009 of government guidance on correct labelling of settlement produce.
Since 2010, Dr Starkey has worked with a range of NGOs across Europe and in the UK lobbying the European Union and its Member States to adopt more robust policies to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine. She is a trustee of Medical Aid to Palestinians and a Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s College, Oxford.